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Around the Big 12: So that was weird

Another wild Saturday as the Big 12 Conference rolled out a full slate.

Texas v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

All ten Big 12 teams were in action for the first time this season Saturday, and the fireworks were flying. The lowest scoring affair of the day saw the winning team post 27, while out in Lubbock Texas and Texas Tech combined for 109 points in an overtime affair.

There were surprises aplenty, and it appears we have a new leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the conference’s best team. Let’s take a look at what happened in a wild and wacky week four.

Kansas State 38, Oklahoma 35

Well, Oklahoma’s defense is still a problem, but the Wildcats looked legit just a few weeks after stumbling out of the gate against Arkansas State.

Sklyar Thompson was super efficient for the Cats, putting up 334 yards on just 25 attempts, as K State overcame a subpar performance from the running game (outside of the three touchdowns by their QB) — while taking advantage of three Spencer Rattler interceptions and a blocked punt.

Rattler is a first-year starter and it shows; unlike his predecessors, the redshirt freshman didn’t land in Norman with a ton of snaps under his belt already, and there are sure to be some growing pains. The Sooners missed their star running back, Kennedy Brooks, as well, with Seth McGowan accruing just 73 yards on the ground and fumbling once.

K State went from a team that was on the verge of cancelling the game due to missing several players due to COVID concerns to upsetting the league’s best team on their home field. It’s going to be that kind of year.

Next Up: Oklahoma is at Iowa State while the Wildcats host the Red Raiders

Oklahoma State 27, West Virginia 13

Even without starting QB Spencer Sanders, the Cowboys looked much more like the team we expected them to be in 2020, as freshman Shane Illingworth stepped in and did enough behind center to help lead the Pokes to a week four win.

The running game carried the load for OSU Saturday, with both Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown crossing the 100 yard mark and scoring a touchdown. The defense was great as well, holding a pretty good Mountaineers offense to 353 yards and just 6-17 on third downs. Leddie Brown went over 100 yards for WVU, but Jarret Doege was sacked five times by an Okie State D that was relentless in getting into the backfield.

Next Up: Oklahoma State gets the Kansas Bye Week in Lawrence, WVU hosts Baylor

Texas 63, Texas Tech 56

Oh, Red Raiders, you had them. You had them right where you wanted them and you had to go and Tech the heck out of the ballgame.

The Longhorns jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Red Raiders went all West Texas from that point out, scoring 35 points over the next two frames. They jumped ahead of the Horns by 15 late in the fourth quarter, only to see Ehlinger tie things up thanks to a touchdown, onside kick recovery, another touchdown, and a two point conversion.

It was shades of Atlanta - Dallas from the Sunday prior.

Ehlinger was not exceptional, by any means, but in true GRITTY QB fashion, he did enough to get it done, and apparently told Tom Herman — after Tech had run right down the Texas sideline for a score — “we are going to tie this up and win in overtime”. The senior threw for 262 and five touchdowns, ran for 69 and another score, and led his team to victory in OT on the road — critical when you consider that the Sooners lost.

Neither team had any shred of a defense Saturday and the Horns certainly look vulnerable; the Red Raiders will be kicking themselves for letting this one get away for a while.

Next Up: Texas hosts TCU while Tech travels to Kansas State

Baylor Baylor 47, Kansas 14

The Bears were the last Big 12 team to play a game this season, and since they played Kansas, technically they still are.

This one was tied at 7 after one, as BU looked rusty and took a quarter to find their rhythm. Charlie Brewer had an easy 142 yards with a touchdown and the Bears rushed for over 200 yards as a team with three scores on the ground. Dave Aranda’s new look defense had four sacks, forced two fumbles, and kept KU from completing 75% of their third down attempts in freshman QB Jalon Daniel’s first career start. They also kept Pook Williams well under the century mark in the run game.

Next Up: Baylor travels to West Virginia, Kansas hosts Oklahoma State